Even cows get a treat every once and a while, but it's not what you would actually expect. American farmers have been giving their cow a sugary snack, but it's not only because it's cheaper, it might have some other benefits as well.
Defective skittles have apparently been used as cow feed for years. It only became known to the general public after a transport truck crashed on a highway and spilled skittles all over the road. It was revealed that they were being transported to a farm to replace the corn they were normally feeding. It turns out that defective skittles cost significantly less than actual cow feed.
While you might think that feeding cows sweets would be dangerous to their health, the owner of United Livestock Commodities, Joseph Watson, claims that it is actually good for the animals. Apparently Skittles have "a higher ration of fat [than] actually feeding them straight corn," which is the main source of nutrition needed.
Apparently feeding cows this sugary snack is beneficial in other ways as well...
By using the Skittles as cow feed, farmers are able save money and feed their cows a high fat diet, but also it's good for the environment. John Waller, a professor of animal nutrition explains that if they weren't eating the Skittles they would just end up as waste in a landfill.
Purchasing defective Skittles started to become increasingly popular in 2012 when the price of corn skyrocketed. The crash that made it all come to light took place in Wisconsin. The tractor trailer's cargo dumped onto the road, revealing thousands of Skittles.
The Dodge County Sheriff's Office posted on their Facebook that "while we don't know who did this, it is certainly clear that it may be difficult to "Taste the Rainbow" in it's[sic] entirety with one color that likely fell off the truck!"
"The Skittles were confirmed to have fallen off the back of a truck," it wrote. "The truck was a flatbed pickup and the Skittles were in a large box. Due to it raining at the time, the box got wet and gave way allowing the Skittles to spill out on the roadway. It is reported that the Skittles were intended to be feed for cattle as they did not make the cut for packaging at the company. In the end these Skittles are actually for the Birds!"
The spill helped in one other way as well. The roads had been incredibly icy at the time so having the candy spill out ended up giving drivers more traction than they normally would have!
It's a little unexpected that cows would eat Skittles, but as long as the scientists say it's safe for them I guess it makes sense! It saves the company from throwing out hundreds of thousands of defective Skittles to the landfill!